fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Barrister mark odens <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Barrister mark odens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:29:28 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Good day
Â Good day
I am Mark Odens a Lawyer in Cotonou Republic of Benin , i had a foreign client,who shares the same surname with you who is a Gold Merchant from your country. posited a large sum of money with local bank here Eventually, died as a result of lung cancer without a WILL,Now i want to introduce you to the bank as the next of kin so that the money left behind by My client can be transfer to your account through my help.
The money value US $10.5M was lodged in a local bank here by my client before his death on 23rd November 2009, I need your information so That I can present you to the bank as the next of kin for further proceeding: Please provide Your full Name and Address, Your Age, Occupation and Position,your email address and Mobile number for Communication Purpose, Please reply via my personal email:email@example.com, so that I will send more details of Mr. Joerg to you.